Dealing With Emotions - Nephromed - Top Centre for Dialysis | IVF | Chemotherapy Treatments

Dealing With Emotions

Can I go to work?

Many people with kidney failure work or go to school full-time or part-time. Many people who start dialysis or  have a transplant want to return to work quickly. It helps them feel better, and get their lives back to normal.  Some people take a little time off to start dialysis, while others take a longer leave of absence to get used to dialysis or to recover from surgery. You should talk to your doctor about when you will be able to return to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I travel?

Yes, most people can travel safely and get dialysis treatments while away from home. Of course, you should  always talk to your doctor before planning to travel. Most doctors encourage travel if your health is stable. If you like to travel, it may give a big boost to your spirits and sense of well-being. It’s important to remember to bring enough of your medicines. Also, check with your insurance company about coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I exercise?

Yes. Physical activity will give you energy, reduce stress, and help you stay more independent. It can also  improve depression and overall mood. It’s important to talk to your healthcare professional before you begin an exercise program. Any form of body movement helps— walking, gardening, dancing, even grocery shopping. The key is finding something you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will my diet have to change?

Yes. The type of diet you follow will depend on the treatment you receive. Your dialysis or transplant center  will have a dietitian who will help you plan your food choices to make sure you are getting the right amount of  protein, calories, vitamins, minerals, and fluids. The dietitian will help you develop a nutrition plan that helps you continue to enjoy your favorite foods and be as healthy as possible.

WHILE ON DIALYSIS OR HAVING A KIDNEY DISEASE YOU MAY HAVE THE FOLLOWING FEELINGS

Why me?

Anyone can get kidney failure, regardless of who you are, where you live, how old you are, or what type of work you do. Having kidney failure is a lot to handle. It requires lifestyle changes—not only for you, but for your family, too.

How does kidney failure affect patients and their families?

In time, many patients accept the fact that they have kidney failure and will need treatment for the rest of their lives. Others have trouble with all the changes in their lives that the disease brings. At times, it may be difficult for both you and your family to cope. Your family members may feel depressed, especially if they haven’t faced a major crisis before, or if the diagnosis was not expected. They may feel helpless because they cannot do anything about your illness. They may be angry that kidney failure has happened to “their” family or friend. They may feel guilty if they did not realize the serious nature of you illness earlier. A period of confusion and tension may follow as everyone tries to cope with the demands of the illness, the anxiety of treatment, and
the disruption of everyday life. You and your family will need time to adjust. Remembering that can help.

Is it normal to feel afraid?

You and your family will have many emotions as you learn to live with kidney failure. You may feel sad, confused, anxious, fearful, angry, or even guilty. At times, your feelings may shift from disbelief and denial to acceptance or grief. The goal is to understand, cope with, and even accept your feelings, rather than ignore them or pretend they don’t exist. Understanding that other people, like you, share many of your feelings can help.

What you’re going through is normal. It is part of getting used to your diagnosis, and to living with kidney failure. It can also be helpful to share your feelings with others, to ask for help, and to tell others what you need. Even your closest family members cannot read your mind. It’s important to tell them how you feel. In addition to loved ones, other people can provide emotional support, including friends, clergy, support groups, chat rooms, professional counselors, and of course, your healthcare team.

Is it normal to have mood swings?

Moodiness is common among people with kidney failure. It can be caused by:

•Waste products. The buildup of waste products in the blood (called “uremia”), which can irritate the nervous system.

•Medicines. Some medicines may cause moodiness or make you feel depressed.

•The stress caused by chronic illness. Your family members and friends might feel confused by your moods swings. It may help to talk with them about it openly and honestly. If they understand that being irritable and moody can be part of having kidney failure, they may find it easier to cope.

Who can help me and my family adjust?

Our dialysis unit has a clinical social worker on staff who is trained to deal with the non-medical issues that you and your family face. They can answer many of your questions, or direct you to others who can help. Social workers are important members of your healthcare team. They are there to help make treatment a manageable part of your life. Inspiration and support can also come from other patients.

When should I seek professional counseling?

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of your desire to do well. Many people need help with their emotions as they learn to cope with kidney failure. If you find yourself feeling overly sad, irritable, isolated, overwhelmed, unable to face each day, crying too much, or feeling like you want to give up, you may have depression.

Is it normal for people on dialysis to feel upset sometimes with the staff at a dialysis center?

It can feel like a “second family” because you spend so much time there. It is normal to feel frustrated and angry with them sometimes. It is important that you discuss your feelings openly with the staff. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can affect your treatment, health, and emotional adjustment.

Is it normal to feel anxious while waiting for a kidney transplant?

Waiting for a suitable kidney can be stressful. If you have a living donor, your wait for a transplant should be fairly short. If you are waiting for a kidney from someone who has died, you may have to wait a long time— even years. Using this time to learn as much as you can about a kidney transplant can help. Talk to others who have had a transplant, and discuss your concerns openly with your healthcare team. The more you learn, the less afraid you’ll feel.

What else should I understand about my emotions?

It’s important to understand that your emotions and physical health are connected. A healthy emotional life will help you to live longer and feel better. Your “emotional health” means many things—how you cope, how you live, what you do to stay involved in the world around you, and how you relate to others. It’s more than feelings or emotions. It means having a sense of purpose, experiencing laughter, having hope, keeping active, and so much more. Set reasonable goals for yourself. Be flexible. Allow for mistakes. Try to keep a positive attitude. Spend time with people who make you laugh. All these things can help you stay healthy.

What if I lose interest in sex?

Your interest in sex may change when you have kidney failure. This is very common with kidney failure. It can result from the side effects of medicine, having a buildup of toxic wastes in the blood that may not be fully removed by dialysis, or other things. Many of these problems can be treated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get help from a healthcare professional.

How important is social activity?

Being involved in the world around you and staying close to others is very important. Social support is something we all need, but it’s especially important for someone with a chronic illness. It may be helpful to find activities you enjoy that also provide social support, like walking clubs, volunteer work, babysitting, or even taking, classes. Your social worker can help you find groups and activities to join. Remember that your loved ones may need your support as well. On days that you feel well, ask what you can do for them.

Can I go to work?

Many people with kidney failure work or go to school full-time or part-time. Many people who start dialysis or have a transplant want to return to work quickly. It helps them feel better, and get their lives back to normal. Some people take a little time off to start dialysis, while others take a longer leave of absence to get used to dialysis or to recover from surgery. You should talk to your doctor about when you will be able to return to work.

Can I travel?

Yes, most people can travel safely and get dialysis treatments while away from home. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before planning to travel. Most doctors encourage travel if your health is stable. If you like to travel, it may give a big boost to your spirits and sense of well-being. It’s important to remember to bring enough of your medicines. Also, check with your insurance company about coverage.

Can I exercise?

Yes. Physical activity will give you energy, reduce stress, and help you stay more independent. It can also improve depression and overall mood. It’s important to talk to your healthcare professional before you begin an exercise program. Any form of body movement helps— walking, gardening, dancing, even grocery shopping. The key is finding something you enjoy.

Will my diet have to change?

Yes. The type of diet you follow will depend on the treatment you receive. Your dialysis or transplant center will have a dietitian who will help you plan your food choices to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein, calories, vitamins, minerals, and fluids. The dietitian will help you develop a nutrition plan that helps you continue to enjoy your favorite foods and be as healthy as possible. Following your nutrition plan is important. It will help you be more successful at living with dialysis or a kidney transplant. If you are on dialysis: You will need to eat less salt, avoid foods high in potassium and phosphorus, and limit fluids. If you have other health problems, such as diabetes or heart issues, you may have other restrictions as well.

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